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Old 07-14-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
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Headlights issue

I'm a new owner of a 98 Tradewinds w/300hp Cat. My 4 headlights work different than I expected......when on "dim", the two outside lights are on, I think that's normal. But, when I switch to "high" beam the two inside lights come on and the two outside lights go off......this is NOT how other vehicles I have owned worked on "high beam. I was expecting all 4 lights to be on in "high" beam. Can anyone verify what is normal for a 98 Tradewinds, Thanks, Rook

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Old 07-14-2011, 09:41 AM   #2
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I'm a new owner of a 98 Tradewinds w/300hp Cat. My 4 headlights work different than I expected......when on "dim", the two outside lights are on, I think that's normal. But, when I switch to "high" beam the two inside lights come on and the two outside lights go off......this is NOT how other vehicles I have owned worked on "high beam. I was expecting all 4 lights to be on in "high" beam. Can anyone verify what is normal for a 98 Tradewinds, Thanks, Rook

This is normal with some manuf. You can buy a solonoid kit from JC Whitney that will change it over to 4 bright. Napa or advance may have one.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:05 PM   #3
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Freightliner wired it for all on in bright but national didn't hookup the bright side of the dim lights. I checked the fuse and the current draw and they are plenty to support normal operation without a relay kit. Here is a drawing of how I rewired mine about a year ago and all works as expected. These wires can be added from the outside front of the coach, really not a hard job, just splice into the big wire going to the bright and use 14 AWG wires. Each element on my coach draws about 4.5 Amps so the total draw with all four on in bright is only 18 Watts, my fuse was a 30 Amp so were still well in the safe zone.

BTW I found a unconnected pigtail for the bright element of the dim bulbs.

On my coach the fuse for the lights was on the light switch.

Dick 1999 Tradewinds
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:27 AM   #4
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Headlights

Hello Dick,

Thanks for the response and the drawing. This looks like a pretty simple and straight forward solution. Did you just go through the light openings to make the changes? It occurred to me that you could also connect the "dim" side of the High Beam lights to the dim line, in a similar manner, in the outside lights and have all 4 lights "on" in either High or Dim. Do you know if that would "violate" any laws? Rook
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:14 PM   #5
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Hello Dick,

Thanks for the response and the drawing. This looks like a pretty simple and straight forward solution. Did you just go through the light openings to make the changes? It occurred to me that you could also connect the "dim" side of the High Beam lights to the dim line, in a similar manner, in the outside lights and have all 4 lights "on" in either High or Dim. Do you know if that would "violate" any laws? Rook
Before you rewire your lights, I would highly suggest that you have your headlight alignment checked. Lots of folks fail to take this first and fundamental step in improving their night vision/lighting. Once that's done you'll be amazed of the improvement in your night driving. The previous owner of my 2001.5 Discovery modified the lighting so that the low and high beams were on at the same time and the night lighting was terrrible. Changed the wiring back to normal and had the lights alinged during my recent inspection. According to the mechanic, the original alignment was way off. On low beam my fog/driving lights also work, When I hit the high beam stalk it kills both the low and fog lights. Check with your state DMV before your choose to rune low/high simultaneously
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:05 PM   #6
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Rook

If you want to check the alignment here is a rather easy procedure. I checked mine and redid the aiming before re-wiring and still they were not bright enough. I'm not familiar with other makes of coach but I do know the Tradewinds have had a ongoing issue with brightness. At last years Orphan Rally it was a subject of discussion for almost an hour. We had three turn of the century Tradewinds there and all had brightness issues.
I can't imagine there is any State Law anywhere that forbids four beams on high beam since most cars have that going on. Low beam is another thing, I would think that having all four on all the time would get you flashed at by oncoming drivers a lot even if it isn't in there eyes. The bulbs I have Wagner H6054 say they have different aiming internal for the high beams so I suppose having all on in dim wouldn't really offend anyone, but I'll bet they would still flash for dim.

I was able to do the rewire by going in through the headlight opening. The Head Light Mounting Brackets come out with four screws into the fiber glass front cap. A 1/4" nut driver will take them out easy without disturbing the adjustments just go easy putting the back so you don't strip the fiber glass. After unplugging the lamps you can mark the position they cam out of and set them aside while you do the wiring. There is also access from under the coach beside the generator on both sides if you need to cut tie wraps for harness access and re installation, but the wiring was for me a lot more comfortable going into the light holes and sitting on a stool.

Dick
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:32 PM   #7
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Headlights

Dick,

Between the two of us, we might as well get this all out on the table for all those following this thread to consider. The ORIGINAL lights in the 98 Tradewinds (like mine) were NOT sealed beams. They were lights with replaceable bulbs in them, the bulb type is a Phillips 9003 with a high and low element in each bulb....for all 4 bulbs!. The light housings were made in India and seem to have a glass front and a metal back....the back looks like copper. I have three of those in my coach and one Sylvania 6054 sealed beam. The former owner put the Sylvania sealed beam in. What got me started pursuing this was that I saw a noticeable difference in 3 of my lights....the two on the left and the outside one on the right. The lenses looked cloudy/milky and not like the Sylvania sealed beam. I pulled one and discovered it had a replaceable bulb. The bulb socket was not sealed well (had no rubber seal) and was allowing mosture and dirt to enter the light housing. I soaked the inside of the light housing with vinegar water for about an hour, rinsed it well and blow-dried it with a hair dryer.....and wallah, it looked like new! I then did the other two. Now they all look as good as the Sylvania sealed beam. I haven't experienced them on the road yet, but I am confident they are much improved. Rook
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #8
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Headlights

One other thing that I will mention.....while looking for "why" the two outside lights went out when the "high" beam was turned on, I measure about 10.5 volts on the hot lead to the lights. This should have been 12.8 volts. and this LOW voltage could account for the low light output. I haven't had time to pursue this yet. Rook
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:47 PM   #9
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Mine were all replaceable bulbs when I bought it in 2007. I was missing two of the rubber boots so I taped the sealed beams connector up with black tape to keep the water out of the connector. Mine is a 1999. But the Wagner Sealed Beams worked fine and fit well. I did replace all four in this process, at $10 each I figured what the hay.

The low voltage is certainly worth looking into, that has to drop the light output. P=IE drop the Voltage and the watts go down and watts is light in this case.

Dick
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:33 AM   #10
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I did the re-wire to just the high beams and everything works well, so far.
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